Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the situations in which mind wandering may occur?

Mind-wandering mostly occurs during driving, reading (most striking context) and other activities that are non-demanding tasks where one does not need to pay a lot of careful attention.

2. Is mind wandering beneficial?

A study published in 2012 showed that the content of mind-wandering is predominantly focused on events that relate to the future; it also showed that individuals with high working memory capacity are more likely to engage in prospective mind-wandering. Put together the study suggests that mind-wandering can enable prospective cognitive operations that are likely to be useful as individuals navigate through their daily lives.

3. What is the relationship between mind wandering and creativity?

A recent study in 2012 showed that mind wandering (non-demanding activities) led to more creative solutions on the second attempt than situations that did not allow for mind-wandering (demanding tasks). In fact the study revealed that engaging in a non-demanding activity was better than not doing anything at all. Together they concluded that non-demanding activities provide greater chances of opening up creative inspirations.

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